Can I use Lactic Acid After Salicylic Acid Mask?

Can I use Lactic Acid After Salicylic Acid Mask?

The word “acid” will no doubt spark some concern in mind, no matter how knowledgeable you are when it comes to skincare. So, when it comes to mixing, layering, and using these acids together it can feel a little daunting, especially when it comes figuring out the best order of applying various skincare products.

So, with that in mind let’s find out together whether you can use lactic acid after salicylic acid mask?

Can I use salicylic acid and lactic acid together?

Yes, it is considered safe to use salicylic acid and lactic acid together because they work on different areas of the skin and can target various skin concerns, therefore not causing irritation or allergic reaction. Both ingredients are chemical exfoliants and are highly effective at delivering various skin results. Luckily for us, due to the different molecular size you can use salicylic acid and lactic acid together. Lactic acid is a considered the gentlest of the chemical exfoliant family known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) this is because the molecular size is very large meaning it is unable to penetrate too far into the skin. Salicylic acid on the other hand has a smaller molecular size and is also oil-soluble meaning it is able reach the lower layers and able to clear out the pores of excess sebum, dirt, bacteria, and build-up of other impurities.

If you are wanting to find out more about both acids, you can find more over on The Beauty Insiders blog.

What is Salicylic Acid?

What is Lactic Acid?

What should I use after salicylic acid mask?

Understanding the best order to apply skincare products will ensure you are getting the best out of the high performing formulas enriched in active ingredients.

It may feel as though using a face mask at the end of your skincare routine would lead to optimal skin results. The truth is, you’d want to apply a face mask, especially if it contains salicylic acid after cleansing the skin before the further steps of your routine.

Here is an example of an evening skincare routine that can be adapted to suit you.

Evening Skincare Routine

  1. Cleanser – Remove any traces of makeup and layer of the day’s impurities. For an evening routine you can also perform a double cleanse to ensure the skin is deeply cleansed. Don’t forget to team your cleanser with a flannel for optimal results.
  2. Face Mask (optimal) – Face masks should be applied to cleansed skin in between the other steps of your skincare routine. It is usually considered best to use a face mask once or twice a week.
  3. Toner – This step can be missed out if you have already used a face mask containing high percentages of salicylic acid. Opt for a toner enriched with PHA or lactic acid to avoid skin irritation.
  4. Serum – Something packed with hyaluronic acid or another hydrating active ingredient will give the skin an added boost in hydration.
  5. Oil – This is another optimal step if you are wanting to supercharge your skin overnight. Choose a formula packed with botanical extracts to nourish and replenish the skin.
  6. Moisturiser – Lock all the goodness of the previous steps in place with a layer of moisturiser, by morning your skin will appear revived, rejuvenated, and restored.

What can you not mix with salicylic acid?

Avoid using retinol and salicylic acid as this can often lead to the skin suffering from intense dryness and discomfort.

If you are wanting to find out more check out our blog post about “What can you not mix with salicylic acid

Which is stronger salicylic acid or lactic acid?

Out of the two acids, it is considered that salicylic acid is stronger and is most beneficial for those with a combination, oily or blemish-prone skin type. What you will find is that salicylic acid one of the most used BHAs and is often found in potent skincare formulations used to help combat blemishes, spots, and acne. With the fact it is related to aspirin salicylic acid contains anti-inflammatory properties as well as providing exfoliation to the outer surface of the skin. The build-up of dead skin cells, impurities, and bacteria the skin is clear and fresh whilst salicylic acid can also make its way into the lower layers and unclog the pores.

As for lactic acid, this is an AHA known for being gentle and is a favourite chemical exfoliant for those prone to dryness and mild sensitivity. This is because, as I have already mentioned, the molecular size of lactic acid is very large meaning it is only able to work on the outer surface of the skin. Because of this, skin irritation is very uncommon, however, it is still important for you to perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying it all over the face.

Does moisturiser go before salicylic acid?

You’ll find that salicylic acid is formulated into various skincare products, from face wash, serums, and oils. This results in salicylic acid being applied to the skin before a moisturiser, but if you are still having trouble just remember the best order to use your skincare products is by starting with the thinnest consistency to the thickest. This will ensure the active ingredients and formulas are able to deliver results without encountering physical barriers of thick product textures.

How often use salicylic acid mask?

Because the percentage of salicylic acid in a face mask is generally quite high, its best to only use one once or twice a week when needed. By over-using formulas that contain potent levels of salicylic acid you will find the skin becomes dry, tight, and uncomfortable. You may also find that the skin barrier becomes stripped of sebum (natural oil found in the skin) which will result in the skin creating an overproduction which over time will result in a breakout of spots and flare-up in acne.

So, there you have it, hopefully I have answered some questions you have about using lactic acid after salicylic acid mask. Don’t forget if you have any questions, or skin is your thing come and follow us on Instagram.


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